While The Safety Zone continues to traverse its interim period without an executive director since dismissing former director Iris Kern earlier this month, the agency is in need of community support.
The non-profit group, St. John’s only advocacy agency for victims of violence, was recently slapped with a lien against its Lucy’s Place safe house property for failure to furnish employee taxes, according to The Safety Zone’s Assistant Director and Financial Compliance Director Shelley Williams.
$15,000 Owed to IRS
The Safety Zone has until February 21 to pay the Internal Revenue Service $15,000 the agency owes for salaried employee taxes that were unpaid, Williams explained.
“We’re really trying to pick up the pieces and move forward,” said Williams. “We really need community support to help us continue progressing. We will have corrective measures in place and we are exploring options for fund raising.”
“We have a bit of an uphill climb ahead us, and anything to help us get through this transition time will help,” Williams added.
The organization continues to provide some services and is collaborating with St. Thomas-based Family Resource Center as well as the V.I. Department of Health for counselling. While both agencies are located on St. Thomas, The Safety Zone will provide transportation money for people to obtain counseling.
The State Incentive Grant, which will fund an after-school anti-drinking program, is still in place and organizers will be announcing implementation phases soon, Williams added.
Safety Zone officials recently established a search committee to find a replacement executive director and will be hiring individuals to fill advocate and outreach positions.
“We received a grant last year from the Law Enforcement Planning Commission to hire advocate and outreach workers,” said Williams. “We are looking for individuals to hire to fulfill our grant obligation.”
The organization is also conducting an advocate training session on January 28 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at their Lumber Yard complex for anyone interested in volunteering or working for the agency.
Anyone interested in applying for either the executive director, advocate or outreach position should email their resume to The Safety Zone at [email protected] To sign up for the advocate training, call the agency at 693-7233.